Mom of the Year Monday!! Check Out Our Contest Winners!

Instead of Music Mondays today, we are so excited to announce the winners of our Mom of the Year contest!  We read so many wonderful submissions nominating so many deserving mothers and we are so grateful to have learned more about these amazing mothers from all over the country.

As a reminder, our winners will receive some amazing gifts from our sponsors!  For our grand prize winner, a $250 Visa gift card from AdPlotter, a year subscription from Parents Magazine, the Love necklace from Freshie & Zero, and a trophy filled with mom-loved products from Laughing Moms and Planted Juice!

We will be sharing the nomination stories submitted about our winners below. To start us off, we’re pleased to introduce you to our grand prize winner.

We spoke with our Mom of the Year winner earlier today and she was so grateful and so humble and appreciative and we’re so happy to be able to share her story here!

Without further ado, the Laughing Moms 2015 Mom of the Year is Rebecca Osmialowski!

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Here is her nomination story:

This is Rebecca , I’m nominating her  for Mommy of the year 2015.
By Looking at this beautiful woman, with these two darling kids you’d never know the heartache and trials she has endured as a young Mom.
Both of the sweet children have epilepsy. She’s held these little body’s in her arms for years as they shook, and cried. All the while keeping herself together as she went through a painful divorce.

Becky, is one of those beautiful spirits who can joke through hard times, and hold your hand and have empathy for you as a friend. She became someone special to me when I married her children’s Father. She had every opportunity to be unkind to me, and she chose to open arm me. She’s become a very important part of my life, and I feel like I’ve become a better Mom to both her children, as well as the two that are biologically mine. She’s become family too.

She is full of grace, and love that I thinks needs to be recognized.

Because of the seizures both children have several learning disabilities, along with erratic behavior problems. She also is a “new” mommy to a baby who is 14 months new. I know her heart holds worries that at anytime one of her kids will go into an epileptic state. And I wish I could ease that fear for her.

She is a full time Mom and often under-appreciated. As her Childrens “bonus Momma” I feel like she deserves SO much!!! Between, cooking, cleaning, laundry, chauffeuring, dishes , doctors appointments, and all the behavior calls that come from the school, she handles it with an ease that would put Mary Poppins to shame! I need her energy, and I know she needs a nap!!
Becky is unique, she approaches motherhood in her own special way, and she loves and cherish her kids. I know this wasn’t what she had hoped for in life. However, What she has chosen to do with her life lemons make her one of the most deserving candidates you could possibly consider.

Sincerely,
Jessica Saxton
(The Bonus Momma)
Boise Idaho

Our 1st Runner-Up, Kathy Retz:

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So when I initially read about your MOTY contest, I immediately wanted to entire myself.  My name is Kate Adam and I am a 34 year old mom of 3 children.  My daughter Charlie (Charlotte) will be turning 3 on May 22nd and my twin boys, Jack and Andy will be turning 1 on May 25th.  That’s right, I have 3 under 3.  This time last year I was 34 weeks pregnant with twins, had just moved into a new house and was planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  Amazingly, my daughter’s party went off without a hitch and exactly a week later, at 38 weeks and 2 days, my water broke.  Jack and Andy were delivered naturally, 6 minutes apart weighing 6lb 15oz and 5lb 15oz. It only took us about a week to realize that Charlie had really tricked us. She was the easiest baby EVER– the twins, not so much!  Honestly, I don’t even remember much of the first 4 months of the twins’ lives.  My husband and I sustained on about 3-5 hours of sleep a night.  At one point I calculated that I was breastfeeding 54oz of milk… and breastfeeding or pumping 4 hours EACH DAY.  I never knew that level of exhaustion could even exist.  Jack had reflux and went through 2 different intense prescriptions.  He also suffered from torticollis and needed to have physical therapy 2x a week and get a DOC band at a facility that was 2 hours away.  Amazingly, my husband and I just laughed when we could and we thanked God for Charlie, our sweet little two year old that genuinely helped with her forever crying baby brothers.  One of my favorite, yet ridiculous, memories was one night when my husband and I were just soooo exhausted and Jack was screaming at 3am.  I got up, didn’t even open my eyes, and went to his crib and picked him up and started patting his back.  He just screamed louder and I couldn’t figure out why.  I was just so sleep deprived that I was almost delirious.  Anyway, as I was patting him I realized that he felt a little weird in my arms, I was having a hard time holding him… it was then that I realized I had picked him up upside down!  His tiny little head was down by my waist, his feet were on my shoulder and I was patting his ass instead of his back.  Needless to say, he survived.  We all did… somehow!  So now, April 2015, I’m planning a joint Cinderella birthday for a 3 year old and a Woodland Themed 1st birthday for the twins.  I somehow survived this year as a stay at home mom with 3 under 3.
When I say I “somehow” survived, I’m lying to myself.  I survived because of MY mom!  My 65 year-old mom that lives a half mile down the road from me and helps me in some capacity almost every single day.
So, after all I just said about myself…. I want to NOMINATE MY MOM, Kathy Retz.  My mom spent at least 3-4 nights a week at my house during the first 2 months of the twins’ lives, often showing up at 10pm after she put my 93 year old grandmother and 91 year old great aunt to bed (they both live with her & my dad).  She then spent most of those nights sitting awake on my couch holding a fussing baby.  She would change one while I breastfed the other.  As soon as I was done nursing she’d take whichever baby was still awake so that I could go right back to sleep.  She’d watch Charlie & Andy so I could take Jack to his doctor visits.  She’d drive me to Jack’s DOC band appointments so I could sleep in the car.  She takes Charlie to alleviate some of the chaos.  She invites us to her house for dinner and then holds a baby so we can actually try to sit and eat.  She folds our clothes and does our dishes.  She takes a twin or two so I can go to the grocery store or take a shower.  She buys clothes for our kids because I don’t have time to shop.  She shows up on my doorstep ready to help whenever I call. She is amazing and she is how I survived this year.
Beyond all of the help she gives me, it’s important to point out that she is also the primary caregiver of my grandmother and great aunt. She helps care for my 7 year old nephew on a weekly basis.  And while I was growing up she and my father were foster parents to several teenagers.  She is the ultimate caregiver, the ultimate sacrificer and the ultimate mom.
Our 2nd Runner-Up, Rebecca Cope:
My twin sister Rebecca Cope deserves to be mother of the year. Rebecca and Landon Cope are a wonderful family from Pleasant Grove Utah with two beautiful kids.

She has a 4 year old daughter named Mona who was born with a liver disorder and has been plagued with constant hospital stays and liver infections. Mona’s liver was failing and she was constantly sick and exhausted. This last October Rebecca made the courageous decision to donate part of her liver to her daughter. The liver is the only organ in the body that will regenerate if you sever part of it. The operation took place in Primary Childrens Hospital in Salt Lake City. As they both lay on operating tables they cut Rebecca open and started to proceed but she had a rare reacton to the anesthesia and went into cardiac arrest- they saved her life with Chest compressions for a full 15 min and immediately stopped proceeding. When she awoke she was devestated to learn they did not get her liver for Mona. However her bile duct was severed during surgery prep and the doctors would have to operate on Rebecca again or she would end up with the same liver problems as her daughter. So they tried it again.

The second attempt went perfectly. The doctors said they had never seen such a perfect match. Mona was able to receive a life saving operation from her mama and everything was looking up. But unfortunately during the recovery process, Mona had a reaction to the anti rejection medication they gave her and as a result suffered a severe stroke. She became paralyzed on half her body. As Rebecca lay in her hospital bed recovering she was devestated to receive the news. They had no idea how well Mona would recover from the stroke. There was the possibility she would never recover. That night Rebecca wrote to her friends on Facebook an update that said “Even if Mona has to deal with a life of disability we are determined to give her a life of happiness.”

It’s been 6 months post surgery and stroke and Mona has been to physical therapy just about every day. Both of their livers have regrown to full size and are functioning perfectly. Mona’s liver disorder is cured. She has done beautifully at regaining her strength and can walk, run, climb, and get around on her own for the most part. Rebecca is so proud of her sweet little girl who is the most resilient, happy kid you could ever meet.

I nominate Rebecca for her selflessness in providing her child with a life saving organ, for her determination to see her little girl walk again and work tirelessly every day to help her make that happen, for her patience in being willing to accept whatever fate would bring to her family, but mostly for her hope that no matter what happiness would find a way into her family’s life.

We hope you come to love these moms and their stories as much as we have.  We had such a hard time deciding between our nominations, we actually added a little bonus honorable mention category for two other moms.

Janel McCormick

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I’d like to nominate my sister, Janel McCormick to be Mom of the Year.  She is a single mom of two girls.  My sister lives in Indiana with no family around to help her.  She has a giant list of fancy medical terms that make it near impossible to get out of bed in the morning, but somehow she does it!! She has been going to school for 10+ years trying to get her degree, but her injuries keep getting in the way.  She finally landed her dream job in January teaching inner city kids and their parents to read together as families.

Korina Carillo

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My name is Selina, and i would nominate myself cause I’m a pretty awesome mama of 4 kiddos!
But instead , I would really like to Nominate my Little Sister, Korina Carrillo.
From the start my little sis has been a go getter type of person. She has big dreams and a big heart. While in college she surprisingly ended up pregnant,  but that was just a blessing. She stayed focused and worked a full time job while attending college and after my godson was born she went back to college and got her degree! She applies herself 100% she gives all her love to her son, she juggles work, and school, while being a full time mommy. Now that’s a busy mama. Her day starts with her eyes open and doesn’t stop till she goes to bed. “If my godson lets her sleep”. Lol.
She gives her all in everything she does and doesn’t stop. My godson is almost 9 months and all this happened within a year. I applaud her for all she does. ♡♡

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